Northern Spain has some rarely discovered jewels to offer and one of them is the Pyrenees. Located just a short car ride up from Barcelona, this spectacular mountain range inspires hikers and bikers alike with its delightful mountain huts and breath-taking views. Check Page 2 to discover how you can enjoy a weekend full of adventures from under 200€/person!
From Barcelona, we drove in the direction of the Vallter skiing area (Girona), located just 140 km away, in the eastern part of the Pyrenees. Once there, we parked somewhere in the serpentines up the mountain and hiked for about 20 minutes through a wonderful green scenery to get to what was going to be our ‘basecamp’: the Refugi Ulldeter, a charming mountain hut with mesmerising views, hearty food and unbeatable prices. You can sleep here from as little as 16€!
Click here to find more about Vallter2000 ski resort
Refugi Ulldeter Website
Hiking up to the Fountain of the River Ter
As we reached our base early in the afternoon we used the rest of the day to explore the area and chose to hike to a fountain close by. There are numerous peaks and trekking routes around the mountain hut so if you are visiting and don‘t know where to go, don‘t be shy to ask the friendly staff!
Our first impression of the area was indescribable. The mountains enjoy an absolute calmness that makes you leave all your troubles behind. We even made a new hiking partner on our way - a mountain dog that just decided to follow us. Sadly, we later learned that it did not belong to any of the guests staying that night at the hut…
Relaxing in style
After reaching the mountain we returned to the mountain hut to refresh the spirits with a warm dinner and some drinks. Dinner at Refugi Ulldeter was 17€ but you can choose to have a sandwich, omelettes or soups for under 10€. There was also a wide range of hot and cold beverages although I have to say that I personally could have done with a glass of the Catalan national drink Ratafia.
Continue to Page 2 for impressive photographs of the Gra de Fajol peak!
Big hiking day out The following day we got ready for our longest hike. First of all we walked up Bastiments (2881 m) and Pic de la Dona (2702 m), before returning to Vallter 2000 valley station. Altogether it was a 12km hike with each ascent taking approximately about 2 hrs the scenery and the big birds that flew high above us made it seem like a pleasant walk; and the view from each summit was simply breath-taking. There really is nothing as rewarding as that!
Taking a break in picturesque Setcases After all the walking, the lovely little village of Setcases was the perfect location for an afternoon break. The houses here are built in the traditional way and the balconies and façades are decorated with colourful flowers throughout the year. After exploring its narrow streets, we sat down and enjoyed a well-deserved amazing homemade cake that recharged our batteries.
Hiking up Gra de Fajol Our last day up in the Pyrenees was characterized by a lot of wind, which made the walking less pleasant than the previous day. For this reason, even if you are visiting during the summer I highly recommend you to bring adequate clothing and comfortable windstoppers! The hike up the Gra de Fajol peak took us a bit over an hour and rewarded us with a spectacular vantage point from which to admire this gorgeous mountain range. Saying goodbye to the ruins of a former mountain shelter located here was our goodbye.
Find out more
If you want to get more travelling tips for Barcelona and the region be sure to check Jahn Schlosser‘s book:
#BCN - by locals